2020 Home Design Trends

Question: What changes are you seeing in design trends this year?

Answer: Every year I look forward to the Pantone Color of the Year selection (released annually since 2000) and this year is one of my personal favorites – Classic Blue. I’ve noticed blues showing up a lot more in homes lately, especially in kitchens (it makes for a beautiful cabinet color, in my opinion).

Pantone Color of the Year 2020 Classic Blue & Steve

But trends go well beyond colors so for an expert opinion on the latest design trends, I’d like to re-introduce Caroline Goree (caroline@madiganschuler.com), a Designer with a boutique Residential Interior Design Firm, Madigan Schuler, located in Alexandria Virginia, to provide insight into what trends we should expect to see in 2020.

In 2018, Caroline introduced us to one of my favorite design quotes from Matthew Frederick’s book 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School, “Being nonspecific in an effort to appeal to everyone usually results in reaching no one.”

Take it away Caroline… 

Thank you, Eli. I am really excited for the trends we see happening in 2020 primarily because people are experimenting with color, textures and patterns much more than in the past few years. While those “safe” design decisions like all white kitchens aren’t necessarily going to go of style, I like seeing more personal flare and individuality come through. Below are some of my personal favorite trend hello’s and goodbye’s of 2020.

Goodbye One-Stop Shoppin’

Thanks to Restoration Hardware, the “all gray everything” trend was popular for the better part of the last 5+ years. Thankfully, that “one-stop shop” mindset is shifting to consumers wanting a more collected look.

Maybe that means a sofa from a known store, such as Restoration Hardware, mixed with vintage velvet club chairs found at Miss Pixies in Washington DC. Add in your grandmother’s fabulous antique chest for a coffee table (hard to believe you once referred to is as old “brown” furniture) and a natural fiber rug so your room has that layered, collected look.

Personally, I am thrilled the trend is moving towards an appreciation for a well curated space using unique items that are not all new and mass produced. Interior Designer, Nate Burkus, once said “Your home should tell the story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love.”

Hello Square Tiles

Thanks to Chip and Joanna Gains (and 90% off the local flippers) subway tile is officially overused and seen in just about every kitchen or bathroom completed since 2015. While timeless (after all, it is named after the 3×6 tiles installed in 1904 in the New York Subway Station) we are ready to explore other shapes and textures.

My personal favorite, square tiles, offer a more unique look but keep the space simple and sleek. From matte concrete tiles in mudrooms, to hand painted terracotta tiles for kitchen backsplashes, many manufacturers are using this traditional shaped tile with an artistic or creative twist. If square tiles still feel a bit out of your comfort zone, try playing with the scale of rectangular tiles such as sizes 2×9 or 3×12. 

Goodbye Gray Walls

Walk into just about any house on the market in the last five years and you will notice one similarity – gray walls. Many Realtors, Interior Designers (including myself) and Homeowners had their go-to list of grays that would cover entire house interiors top to bottom.

With a new decade ahead of us it is time for a new paint color trend (finally).  White paint brings a sense of sophistication to a space, allowing the walls to highlight artwork, architecture and give a bright yet quiet background to your beautifully collected furniture (see topic one above).

From bright white to milky white and crisp white to creamy white, there is a white for everyone. If you are considering going with a white wall, it is important to keep in mind your trim and cabinetry colors. All whites are not the same so be sure to use samples and see how they blend with your existing paint colors. 

Hello Color and Florals!

Tired of seeing the same styles over and over again? Us too. For example, one of the patterns I have been ready to retire since 2015 is Geometrics. Thankfully, with this 2020 concept of originality and pushing the envelope, we are seeing people much more willing to experiment with color and patterns such as florals.

From Peacock Blue velvet sofa’s to floral fabric covering barstools, furniture is being used to express clients style and favorite colors. For years, many folks associated floral fabric with that Chintz Living Room sofa never to be sat on at an elder family member’s house. Not anymore! We encourage and welcome the new wave of florals as they add incredible interest and naturally create wonderful color schemes in a room.

Thank you, Caroline! I’ve been seeing a lot of these trends pop up lately myself so it’s pretty clear that homeowners and buyer tastes are shifting back to an older generation of design, with a more 21st century touch. Caroline and her team at Madigan Schuler are excellent design resources so feel free to reach out to Caroline at caroline@madiganschuler.com for advice on your own interior redesign or remodeling efforts.

Question: I’m planning to do some remodeling this year and wondering what sort of colors and design trends you’re expecting in 2018.

Answer: If you’ve been inside a new home or professional flip the last few years, the preference towards white and grey is clear in today’s market. When using neutral colors like this, there’s a fine line between a clean, modern look and being too sterile so I was excited that in 2017 market leaders like Houzz and Sherwin Williams started pushing for warmer tones to offset the cool greys that have become so prevalent.

 

If you’re remodeling with plans to sell in a few years, you’ll want to put more weight into current buyer trends. So visit some open houses for new construction homes to see what finishes builders are using and balance these with your personal preferences.

If you don’t plan to sell in the near or mid term, focus your decisions on personal preferences and don’t be afraid to go against the grain of the consumer market. There’s a good chance design trends will change anyway by the time you’re ready to sell so don’t compromise your style just because it’s not currently in demand with buyers.

Let’s take a look at what the experts are projecting for design and color trends in 2018:

Color

My favorite primary wall paint colors are this light grey or this taupe (each pictured below) from Sherwin Williams. Depending on the color of your floors, cabinets and counters, I think they offer a clean and calming effect that lends nicely to more aggressive accent colors.

 

Every year paint companies introduce their “color of the year” recommendations and 2018 is definitely a year for the bold. I was not a fan of Pantone’s 2017 selection of Greenery but love their 2018 choice, Ultra Violet (pictured below).

In 2017, Sherwin Williams kept it conservative with Poised Taupe, which I liked a lot and was happy to introduce to clients, but they did a 180 this year and made Oceanside(pictured below) their 2018 color. It makes sense for your beach house, but I don’t see it working well in the DC Metro.

 

Design Trends

Every year Houzz publishes their design trends and it’s always an interesting read. I pulled out some highlights from their 2018 Design Trends below:

  • Matte Black Finishes: We’ve seen the matte finish trend pick-up in appliances over the last year and it’s now carrying over to faucets, lighting and other smaller fixtures. I like the matte finish, especially on large appliances, because you eliminate the fingerprint smudging you get with stainless steel.
  • More Color In Kitchens: You may have heard white kitchens are out, but fear not recent home buyers, white kitchens are still the favorite, the growth is just slowing a bit from the surge we’ve experienced over the last few years. Try to accent your white kitchens with some warmer tones or take a shot at using one of the colors of the year noted above.
  • Concrete Accents: I’ve always enjoyed this look and am curious to see whether it catches on in our market. I’ve yet to see it used beyond an accent piece (e.g. coffee table) around here.
  • Bold-Colored Sofas: Just be careful because you could be one plastic wrap away from recreating Grandma’s house.
  • Defining Kitchens In Open Floor Plans: We’ve seen such an extreme trend towards tearing down all barriers between the kitchen and living spaces that South Park did an episode on it last year! I wouldn’t be surprised to see some movement back towards a more defined kitchen space with things like casual seating or storage being used to delineate spaces.
  • Dedicated Broom Closet: Nothing beats functional design! Just like putting a sliding spice rack into a narrow space, the idea is to take a few inches next to the refrigerator or pantry to install a tall, narrow sliding closet where you can hang a broom or mop to keep it out of your coat closet or pantry.

Are there any design trends you wish would return to popularity? Which current trends or colors would you like done away with?